Report: It looks like Leafs may get compensatory draft pick for Rodion Amirov's passing

Report: It looks like Leafs may get compensatory draft pick for Rodion Amirov's passing

Maybe not appropriate to discuss given the circumstances but... is this fair? Are the Leafs getting special treatment?



In case you missed the news earlier this week, Toronto Maple Leafs 1st round draft pick Rodion Amirov passed away at just 21 years old.

Rodion's agent Dan Milstein made the announcement on social media:

It is we great sadness that we announce the passing of Rodion Amirov. Two years ago, Rodion was diagnosed with a brain tumour. From the moment he received the news, he refused to speak in the negative, determined to enjoy every day, facing it with the same positive attitude he showed during his hockey career. We will always remember his courage, his desire, his will, his smile, all of the great things about him. We’d like to thank his doctors, who took great care of him. We’d like to thank the Toronto Maple Leafs and his KHL - Salavat Yulayev Ufa team. Both did everything possible to help in any way, do whatever was necessary for Rodion and the Amirov family. And we’d like to thank hockey fans all over the world who sent notes of encouragement and best wishes over the past two years. They meant so much to the Amirov family.

- Dan Milstein

Amirov was diagnosed with a brain tumor just two years ago. He was the team's 1st round selection in 2020. 

As Milstein says in his social media post, Amirov was a positive minded young man with strength and courage well beyond his years. He handled with diagnosis with incredible grace and will always be remember not for 'what could have been' but rather for what he accomplished in his short time on Earth.

Amirov's KHL team, Salavat Yulaev, have announced that they will be retiring his #27 to honor the young man's legacy forever.

From Russian-based publication Championat (Translated):

The general director of Salavat Yulaev, Rinat Bashirov , said that Salavat Yulaev would withdraw the 27th issue from circulation. Under this number, a pupil of the club played Rodion Amirov , who died of cancer on August 14.

“It has already been decided that the youth tournament, which takes place at the end of August, will be called the Rodion Amirov Cup. And the proposal of the captain of "Salavat" Grigory Panin to withdraw number 27 from circulation is accepted. We will hold this ceremony on September 11 at the first match. Let's do this as concisely as possible. This suggestion has often been made in the comments. We will definitely do something else, but later, ”Bashirov said at a club press conference.

- Championat

An incredible gesture that ensures Amirov's spirit will live on forever.

And, while it may seen insensitive to investigate, there are a number or Leafs fans out there wondering if the team will get any compensation for Amirov's passing? After all, teams have received similar treatment in the past. Most famously, the NHL established the 'Cherapanov Rule' in 2008 after New York Rangers' 2007 1st round selection (17th overall) Alexei Cherepanov died of a heart condition at just 19 years old. The Rangers were awarded the 17th overall selection in the 2009 Draft and the NHL subsequently created a compensation rule for teams whose 1st round selection passes away... the distinction in Amirov's case is that he signed an NHL contract, while Cherepanov had not.

It'll be interesting to see how the NHL rules in this case. It seems pretty clear cut to me that the Leafs do not qualify for a compensatory pick given that Amirov had signed a contract, but it'll ultimately be up to the league to make a determination.

And, while it may seem trivial to discuss Amirov's hockey prowess on a day like today, there's no denying that he was supremely talented. Playing as just a 17 year old boy in the KHL, Amirov put up an impressive 9 goals and 13 points in his draft season. He was a skilled player with the puck and had dogged determination as a staple in his defensive game. There's a reason he was selected to so high in his draft class (15th overall in 2020) and it's mostly because scouts saw him as a well rounded, two-way forward with the capability to grow both in stature and in experience.

Sadly, we'll never know how Amirov would have fared in the NHL.

Thoughts and prayer go out to his family at this difficult time.

Source: -